They hailed from all Christian denominations and backgrounds, coming by the hundreds to defend their faith.

More than a thousand Christians rallied in Oklahoma City to protest a long-scheduled blasphemous ceremony designed to mock Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Though the “black mass” ritual took place as planned, the protests seemed to have an effect, as few attended the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall to witness a ritual entitled “The Consumption of Mary” performed by the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a group of “devil-worshipers.”

The Catholic group the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property was one of the most prominent groups at the protest, appearing with their signature banners and sashes.

Dakhma of Angra Mainyu leader Adam Daniels appeared to reference the group and other Christian protesters as the explanation of the ritual’s low attendance.

“When you have the whole Roman legion out there, how likely are they [attendees] to come and buy tickets?” he asked.

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Daniels’ ritual incorporates a mix of occult practices designed to corrupt and desanctify a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The statue is placed within a Solomonic triangle, a tool of occultism. A pig’s heart is placed within the statue and is consumed after the likeness of Mary is smashed. Burned pages from the Quran and menstrual blood were also reportedly part of the ritual.

Archbishop Paul Coakley called for prayer “in response to the blasphemous event” and a Christian ceremony held outside the civic center was attended by hundreds of people.

More than a thousand Christians from different denominations also attended a “Unity Prayer Walk” to counter the event.

However, the anti-Christian ritual did take place inside the civic center, as local officials said they could not prevent it for fear of a costly lawsuit.

Karl Payne, pastor of leadership development at Antioch Bible Church and the former chaplain of the Seattle Seahawks, is the author of “Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance.”

He suggested there exists a double standard in both the media and the legal system in which attacks on conservatives and Christians are permitted or even justified.

“At this time in history our legislators and courts seem to be very concerned about any type of speech or actions giving offense to others, and seemingly promoting tolerance as a virtue that has replaced truth and common sense, but they seem to go deaf, dumb and mute over these concerns if those being offended or shown intolerant disrespect represent those holding conservative religious or political views,” he said.

“If the object of this obvious display of contempt was directed at liberal political ideologues, leftist advocates, homosexuals or transgenders, the same legislators and courts who have green-lighted this activity would probably shut it down before it ever got a head of steam.

“This individual, who apparently believes he is doing something courageous, is certainly selective regarding who he takes his stand against. He picks on people or groups who are told to love their enemies and pray for those who spite them. Does this action represent courage or convenience?”

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Carl Gallups, a pastor, talk-show host and the author of “Final Warning,” believes Christian persecution is on the increase.

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He also argues the “demonic” realm is a spiritual reality and demonic activity will increase in what he believes are the end times.

“The prophetic days in which we are living are going to increasingly demand a high level of spiritual discernment from God’s people,” he told WND. “There are times when God’s people will need to act, or react, with boldness and direct and tangible action – as the case demands. However, there will be other instances when an assault by the demonic forces of evil will need to be met with prayer and supplication, giving as little public attention to the affront as possible.

“Regardless, the Word of God is clear that the last days would be marked by an unprecedented demonic outpouring. I believe we are at least in the edges of that outpouring even now – from international calls for demonic deliverance ministries to open displays of demonic and satanic rituals.”

The “Consumption of Mary” is not the first act of deliberate blasphemy against Christians in Oklahoma City.

Daniels and his group particularly have targeted believers. On Christmas Eve in 2015, he poured fake blood on a statue of Mary, a desecration dutifully approved by city officials. Another “black mass” was held by the same group in 2014.

Oklahoma City was also targeted by The Satanic Temple, a separate group, which wanted to place a statue of Baphomet on the capitol grounds.

The group’s efforts were not successful – but they were able to display their statue in Detroit.

Payne is pessimistic about the future of the United States as demonic and occult practices become more common, especially as they are conducted with the sanction of governments.

“I personally believe God is done with our once-great country,” he told WND. “This is just one more activity, apparently under government sanction, that makes me wonder how much longer God is going to protect it from the chaos and destruction of secularism and anarchism running unfettered.

“The foundations of this country made it a wonder to the rest of the world, but now they are being systematically destroyed. Whether this country is conquered by apathy, anarchism, atheism or Shariah, the same people who see no problem with grown men in little girls’ bathrooms, babies being murdered in the womb, rioters burning and killing without reprisal, and terrorism being promoted as justice, are going to be in shock when the mob violence turns on them after they have served their useful purposes.”

Payne suggested the spiritual collapse of the country will eventually lead to the collapse of political institutions. He said many of the issues being discussed by the media are relatively unimportant and tangential compared to this shocking cultural change, and compared contemporary Americans to the rich passengers on the Titanic.

“People are busy shuffling chairs and listening to the band while this ship is sinking, to the delight of some and tears of others,” he said. “Assuming our children and grandchildren live to old age, which is not a sure bet, I am guessing some of them are going to wake up at some point, and ask, ‘What in the world were you thinking when you allowed chaos to replace order while you slept?'”

Gallups also charged modern Americans are ignoring the reality of spiritual warfare and the presence of the demonic – even when it is right in front of them.

“Because of modern technology, the whole world sees these demonic displays, one after the other,” the pastor said. “We are under the prophesied demonic deluge. The problem is it is so in your face that few actually ‘see’ it. There is such a technological saturation of evil – from entertainment mediums to virtual fantasy porn – that a ‘normalcy bias’ kicks in to overdrive.”

And Gallups concluded ominously what modern Christians are witnessing is nothing new.

“It’s kind of like the days of Noah,” he said. “Everyone just ‘ate and drank’ even though their judgment was staring them in the face, just like Jesus warned. The Lion of prophecy is roaring. I wonder if anyone actually hears it?”

SPECIAL OFFER – $4.95! If God is real, so are the devil and his minions. Each one of us is in a spiritual war – and the consequences for defeat are unimaginable. Learn how to fight and win in “Spiritual Warfare” by Dr. Karl Payne, available now in the WND Superstore.


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